Why Marouane Fellaini’s height is proving to be a useful weapon for Man Utd

Marouane Fellaini has his critics but he is proving to be a key player for Manchester United this season.

Manchester United defeated Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield to take a gigantic step towards their goal of finishing in the top four.

Juan Mata scored a brace and rightly took home the plaudits, but Marouane Fellaini also continued his superb renaissance.

The Belgian has had more than his fair share of critics since moving to Old Trafford from Everton in the summer of 2013 but after a very difficult first season at the club, he has improved dramatically under Louis van Gaal.

Although many argue that he encourages more direct football, when you have a weapon such as Fellaini, it makes sense to play to his strengths.

He is able to use his presence and physicality to great effect. United play long passes to his head or his chest and feed off the second ball.

  GoalsTotal Att AssistDuel WonAerial WonTotal ClearanceEffective Head ClearanceAppearancesMins Played
Marouane Fellaini 4 13 156 79 39 28 19 1,247

To add to that, Fellaini is very handy to have in your side when defending set pieces. He is able to use his height and positional sense to clear the ball effectively. On Sunday, there were numerous occasions in the second half when he was on hand to head away from danger.

In the last two games, Fellaini has been able to use his excellent control to instigate attacks for United. The tactic may not please some people but it has proven to be effective.

Last year, David Moyes appeared afraid to use Fellaini in a more advanced position but Van Gaal has not been shy and has put plenty of faith in the 27-year-old.

This faith has paid off in recent weeks as the Belgian has been in superb form and has won over the majority of the United support.

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